A heartening “interview” with the screenwriter for the new Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie. Looks like he Gets It:

There is an intelligence at work in these books that I was trying to preserve. Douglas was a great satirist because he possessed a very real understanding of the incredibly heady concepts he was satirizing. In one interview he said that if they had had computers when he was in school and had taught computer science, that’s probably what he would have pursued. He also could have been a theoretical physicist; he was that knowledgeable on the subject. So it was important to me that that intelligence remains at the epicenter of the piece.

The thing that made HGttG unique was that despite being utterly absurd and frquently self-contradictory, Adams’ universe had a weird internal consistency to it. His inventions were kooky, but you got the idea that they were more than just plot devices to get a laugh; that he had actually thought through their ramifications like any good sci-fi author.

Jamie Zawinski on why groupware is BAD:

So I said, narrow the focus. Your “use case” should be, there’s a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid?

That got me a look like I had just sprouted a third head, but bear with me, because I think that it’s not only crude but insightful. “How will this software get my users laid” should be on the minds of anyone writing social software (and these days, almost all software is social software).

“Social software” is about making it easy for people to do other things that make them happy: meeting, communicating, and hooking up.

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  1. is the Zawinski quote from HGttG, or is it from a situation at your workplace ? i apologize for my screamingly huge gaps in culture that I should be aware of, I admit openly to the problem, I’m trying to catch up from my ‘too shy to know anything about anything childhood’ 😉

    1. The two quotes are totally unrelated. Jamie Zawinski is a hacker (original sense), fairly famous in certain (geeky) circles.

  2. i’m kind of excited about the hitchiker’s guide stuff – if a bit nervous… people used to say how horrible the old bbc series was, and they were right – but i still loved it. had a copy of all the episodes on video, until a friend taped some soft porn over the middle of one episode… actually ruined the whole damn tape, since nothing made sense anymore. (really – it made it that incoherent!)

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